Local News

June 22, 2009

Bi-state Champlain Bridge project begins

States will replace or repair neglected Crown Point span

CROWN POINT — New York state and Vermont announced Monday that they have finalized a bi-state agreement to replace or repair the Champlain Bridge between Crown Point and Chimney Point, Vt.

Years of delayed maintenance on the 2,184-foot-long bridge have left it in deteriorating structural shape, and an environmental-impact statement must be completed before any work commences.

The HTNB Corp. of New York City was selected as the design consultant for the project.

The Champlain Bridge opened in 1929 as a toll bridge connecting New York and Vermont across Lake Champlain.

Many local leaders want the historic multi-truss bridge rehabilitated before its condition worsens.

The most recent repairs to the bridge were completed in late 2008, and included removing loose concrete, doweling reinforcement into existing concrete and pouring new concrete pier caps. A yellow flag warning that had been placed on the bridge was then taken off.

According to the State Department of Transportation, HTNB will first do an evaluation of the bridge to determine the feasibility of rehabilitation and the cost.

DOT spokesman Peter Van Keuren said all options will be identified and evaluated, and public input solicited before any decisions are made.

Van Keuren said the study will also address the potential impact of rehabilitation or replacement on motorists. Statistics show about 3,400 vehicles a day crossing the bridge in both directions.

"The project is in a preliminary planning stage," he said. "Construction is tentatively planned to begin in 2013."

He said a public advisory committee was set up to review the project, comprised of community members from the towns around the bridge on both sides of Lake Champlain. Business, agricultural and environmental groups are also represented on the committee, Van Keuren said.

Public informational meetings will be scheduled during the design phase to gather community input, he said.

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